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Tigers get some good news

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

The Fort Hays State University football team received more good health news in last Saturday's 34-17 home victory against William Jewell (Mo.) College and then throughout this week.

Junior safety Micheal Jordan missed part of the season opener because of a shoulder injury. Jordan was still banged up for several weeks, but the returning all-MIAA honorable mention selection was healthy last Saturday.

He responded with eight tackles, tied for his season best, and picked off his first career pass that yielded a 40-yard return. Jordan had played in 27 career games with 128 career tackles, but hadn't forced a turnover before Saturday.

"He started feeling good and started feeling confident," third-year coach Chris Brown said in the team's weekly news conference Tuesday. "Getting that interception really helped him out to build his confidence. Made some great tackles. When you are injured, you are not quite sure sometimes how it's going to react to hit somebody. I think that's why he was holding back a little bit. He came out last week and played great for us."

Jordan said it was the most physical and best he has played this season.

"It's feeling good," Jordan, a team captain and two-year starter, said. "The shoulder is feeling way better. I did treatment really hard when I had to do it. I really don't have to do it anymore. I really took pride in really working out. It felt real good (for the INT). I have been waiting on that for a long time."

On the offensive line, junior Tomasi Molesi started at left guard after he missed the first four games with a leg injury. He delivered a solid performance in the Homecoming victory that moved FHSU to 1-4 (0-4 MIAA). Molesi provided a vocal presence with his usual talkative personality.

"A few little mistakes, not quite understanding the offense well enough," Brown said. "He is picking it up as this week goes on. I think he is pretty good there. He moves very well pulling and he is solid on his blocks and he is strong and powerful."

This week, the Tigers travel to conference foe Lindenwood (Mo.) University (3-2, 2-2 MIAA) for a 1:30 p.m. kickoff in St. Charles, Mo. Molesi had previously played defense in junior college, but switched to offense when the Tigers needed help.

"It was a great feeling," Molesi said. "I was real anxious, but I was real nervous at the same time playing a position after two years. I was just ready. It felt good to be back out there. Of course, I had a couple of mental errors, but that's going to happen. It's football. It was good to get a win. There is not much you can do from the sideline being hurt, just being an extra voice. I was glad that I could go out there and provide for the team."

This week, junior Jarred Stindt, the former starter at left guard and the Tigers' most experienced offensive lineman, expects to return after suffered a knee injury in Week 2 and hasn't played since. Brown said Stindt, Molesi, and freshman Mason Dickey, currently the starting right guard, will see time at both guard spots. It's uncertain how many reps Stindt will play.

"He probably won't play a lot, but he is going to play some on Saturday," Brown said.

On the defensive line, senior Basil Bandy remains out with an arm and nerve injury (stinger) suffered two weeks ago. Brown said Bandy is still experiencing numbness in his arm and will be out at least a week.

"It's going to take some time to heal to get those nerves kind of regenerated and get them going," Brown said. "He keeps getting closer everyday. He keeps asking, 'Can I go, can I go?"

However, junior Kendric Johnson has stepped in and played well. Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound junior transfer from NCAA Division I University of Florida, has nine tackles, two for loss and a sack.

"He is starting to come around, starting to understand," Brown said. "He got banged up a week ago with a concussion, but we got him back. It's just one of those things- it takes awhile to learn the system. ... He is in that point right now where he is starting to figure out what we are doing defensively. The more we go along, the better he is going to get."